Friday, February 25, 2011

DarkSky Finder and Descriptions

The DarkSky Movement is a campaign to help stop light pollution. Rural areas and areas far from the skyglow of cities have darker skies than cities do. These dark country and rural skies are not pollution by light, which makes more constellations such as the Milky Way and Zodiacal light more visible to the naked eye. The closer you are to a city, the more affected night skies are going to be; the more light that is polluted into night skies, less constellations are visible. The DarkSky Movement's campaign is, in short, trying to make constellations visible more places by reducing light pollution. The DarkSky Movement's website lists areas were dark skies are available and includes a map. There is also a description of sky features to help identify and classify the amount of light polluted in an area at night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Light Pollution in the World

Since you've already learned about the types of light pollution, I will show you a light pollution from somewhere in the world to show how common the problem of light pollution is. When I was looking for pictures of light pollution on the internet, a certain picture of a city at night caught my eye.

File:KL-Skyline Night HDR.JPGThe capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is located in Southeast Asia and is the largest and fastest growing city in Malaysia. I chose to use Kuala Lumpur for my blog because it's not as popular a city like New York City or Miami and it's located somewhere else in the world.

The picture below shows the night skyline of Kuala Lumpur. By just looking at it, you not only see major light pollution, you can easily identify light trepass, over-illumination, and sky glow. Light trepass would be the beams of light coming from the twin towers in the skyline (The Petronas Towers). Over-illumination would be any signs or buildings that do not need the excessive light. Buildings with large and/or bright lights may have this. Sky glow will refer to the glow of light around the city that can be seen for miles.

Light Pollution (by naza1715)

This picture shows the sky glow from Kuala Lumpur, obviously taken from miles away, you can easily see lights from the city and light trepass from The Petronas Towers located in the city.

Overall, my purpose for this blog entry was to illustrate the problem of light pollution in over parts of the world.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Types of Light Pollution

There are different types of light pollution?

Yes, as a matter of fact, there are many different types of light pollution.  These different types of light pollution include skyglow, light clutter, light trepass, over-illumination, and glare. All types are seen in various places all over the world and are very common.

Skyglow: The illumination of the night sky and parts of it. Much of this light is artificial and can be seen as a glow from miles away. Skyglow is commonly around large cities or towns but can also be around illuminated small things such as, large buildings like malls, etc. Skyglow is usually seen as a dome of light around the town or city giving off the light.

Light trepass: Light trepass is when unwanted light enters one's property. This can occur from a  person using an outdoor light at night which disrupts their neighbor. Some cities in the United States are creating guidelines to reduce light trepass.

Over-illumination: The excessive use of light. The unnecessary use of light can be from improper design of lightbulbs, "Daylight lighting"- a method demanded by some citizens to reduce crimes during the day, and indirect lighting techniques.

Glare: The negative effect of light that may disrupt or cause problems with vision. Glare can be put into three different catergories.

Blinding glare: Caused from staring directly at the Sun. May cause blindness or permenant problems with vision.
Disability glare: Caused by the blinding from oncoming car lights (high beams), or light scattering in fog or reduced contrast. May caused a reduction in sight capabilities.
Discomfort glare: Usually not dangerous, but may be irritating and cause fatigue.

See full size image

Light clutter: Caused by the excessive grouping of lights; usually seen in cities or roads. Light clutter may be distracting and cause accidents due to placement of the lights, as well as aviation hazards because light clutter could cause confusion with runway lights.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ways of Preventing Light Pollution

After learning about light pollution in my previous blogs, you may have asked yourself "How can I help prevent light pollution?" Well, here are a few ways you can help the environment by doing a few simple things. Some of them even surprised me!

-Try to do activities requiring light in your house during the day. This will reduce the light radiating from your house during the night.
- Having outside lights face horizontal instead of towards the sky during the night. This way, the light will be directed where needed, not towards the sky.
-Consider turning your porch lights off at night.
-Only use light when it is needed.
-If you have motion sensored lights for nighttime use, make sure they aren't near any vegetation or plants, which could set it off. 
-Spread the idea of reducing light pollution to your family and friends. Even a little less light at night can help reduce light pollution!

For more tips, read the article below:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Local Community Enforces Dark-sky Laws

Now that you have been introduced and informed about light pollution, you can learn about what some communities and cities are doing to reduce light glare. Some communities are enforcing Dark-sky laws, which will take action against light pollution by Dark-sky legislation. Dark-sky legislation will regulate city lights and will require outdoor lights to be shielded and to be directed downward instead of upward towards the sky. Dark-sky legislation mostly only apply to public property. Dark-sky legislation will not only enhance star-gazing but, will reduce the cost of public lighting by using lower-wattage light bulbs. If Madeira, a suburb of Cincinnati, chooses to adopt the legislation, it will join over three hundred other cities across America to have adopted Dark-sky legislation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's light pollution and why are dark skies important?

That's a good question. What is light pollution? And  why are dark skies important? Light pollution is the excessive of artificial light caused by sky glow,  light glare, and light clutter. Light pollution from city lights affects the ability to see stars and other astronomical  observations. Since light pollution is a type of pollution, it affects and disturbs ecosystems. Areas with the most severe light pollution includes major areas in North America, Asia, and Europe such as New York City, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Tokyo, Malayasia, Paris and London. Dark skys are important because they are natural nights skies uninterrupted by light pollution and light glare. The dark-sky movement is a campaign to reduce light pollution so people can see stars and to reduce the affects of unnatural lighting on the environment.The dark-sky movement is also important because it cuts down energy usage.